U.S. track and field star Sha'Carri Richardson, a former runner at LSU, failed a drug test and could miss the Olympic Games this month in Tokyo, according to multiple media reports.
The news broke Thursday and was first reported by the Jamaica Gleaner, a leading newspaper in that country. It was later confirmed by Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Tyler Dragon.
Quoting a source, Dragon reported that Richardson did not test positive for a performance-enhancing drug but for marijuana.
According to a source, American sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson failed a drug test and could miss Olympics. The @JamaicaGleaner was first.— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) July 2, 2021
That would lessen her penalty but still could cause a 30-day suspension and disqualify her eye-opening performance at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, where she won the 100-meter dash in 10.86 seconds.
Reached by phone Thursday, LSU track and field coach Dennis Shaver said he hadn't spoken to Richardson on Thursday and couldn't confirm the report. He did say that in Richardson's lone year at LSU in 2019, she didn't fail any drug tests.
According to Dragon and Shaver, the U.S. could still select Richardson for the 4x100-meter relay, which doesn't begin until Aug. 5 in Tokyo. The individual 100 starts with preliminary races on July 30, the first night of track and field at these Olympics.
Richardson unexpectedly scratched from the 200 at the Olympic trials; it also was announced earlier Thursday that she wouldn't run the 200 as originally expected at the Diamond League meet in Stockholm this weekend.
Richardson, who won the 100 title at the 2019 NCAA championships in record time, had an emotional interview on live TV after her trials victory in which she revealed her biological mother had died the previous week. Her orange hair and long nails also have made her a fan favorite and a sure bet to feature in U.S. TV coverage of the Olympics on NBC.
But on Thursday, Richardson might have lost that chance. Her only post Thursday on Twitter read, "I am human."
I am human— Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) July 1, 2021
Staff writer Scott Rabalais contributed to this report